Marseniopsis sp. #1
|Maximum size: 6 mm.
or yellowish body variously spotted with brown and white. Six prominent ridges run from
the margin to the apex and define a roughly hexagonal apical
appears to be a moderately common species in silty Halimeda kanaloana
beds at depths of 6-11 m (20-36 ft). Rarely, it may be found in
moderately protected rocky habitat at 3-6 m (10-20 ft). The red form may
feed on a similarly-colored tunicate
is found in the same habitat. (Note 1)
was first recorded in Hawaii from Napili Bay, Maui by CP on Sept. 12,
1998 (yellow form). There's some chance that the yellow and reddish
forms might be different species but the similarity in markings on the
underside and the prevalence of a red to yellow axis of variation in the
family support lumping.
Photo: CP: 5
mm: Maalaea Bay, Maui; Oct. 22, 2007.
Observations and comments:
1: In 2015, the population of the red tunicate in the Halimeda
beds appeared to be much lower than in previous years. Meanwhile,
several colonies of an otherwise similar yellow tunicate were seen. This
observation was accompanied by the collection of a pair of
yellow/yellowish animals, strengthening support for the hypothesis that
their color is derived from their food.